Liberal journalist Seymour Hersh says Obama made up the intelligence for war on Syria

Barack Obama

I used to subscribe to The New Yorker. But I stopped some years ago because I could no longer stomach the liberal slant of one of the magazine’s contributors — Seymour Hersh.

So it is a matter of no small significance that Hersh  has become an Obama critic. More than that, Hersh also slams his fellow journalists for being soft on Obama.

From the Daily Mail, Dec. 9, 2013:

A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist has accused President Obama of lying to the American people earlier this year when he blamed President Bashar al-Assad for a sarin-gas attack that killed hundreds of Syrian civilians in August.

Seymour Hersh, 76, who had previously described the official account of the 2011 raid which killed Osama Bin Laden as ‘one big lie,’ claims the current administration ‘cherry-picked intelligence’ on Syria.

Hersh first gained worldwide recognition in 1969 for exposing the My Lai Massacre and its cover-up during the Vietnam War, for which he received the 1970 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting.

In early September, Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States had proof that the nerve-gas attack in Syria was made on Assad’s orders. ‘We know the Assad regime was responsible,’ President Obama told the nation in an address days after this revelation, when he said he had been pushed over the ‘red line’ to consider military intervention.

In Sunday’s London Review of BookHersh accused the administration of ‘cherry-picked intelligence,’ citing conversations with intelligence and military officials.

A former senior intelligence official told me that the Obama administration had altered the available information – in terms of its timing and sequence – to enable the president and his advisers to make intelligence retrieved days after the attack look as if it had been picked up and analyzed in real time, as the attack was happening,’ he wrote.

[…] Hersh also said that his contacts spoke of ‘immense frustration inside the military and intelligence bureaucracy’ regarding the current President. 

The guys are throwing their hands in the air and saying, “How can we help this guy [Obama] when he and his cronies in the White House make up the intelligence as they go along?”

Hersh also claims that the administration buried intelligence on the fundamentalist group/rebel group al-Nusra related to the sarin attacks, plus he repeated his accusation that the U.S. media fails to properly question what information is given to them by the government.

[…] This isn’t the first time he has accused President Obama of lying. In September he said that ‘not one word’ of the administration’s narrative on the killing of Osama Binladen was true. […] He said the Navy Seal raid that supposedly resulted in the death of the Al-Qaeda terror leader, Hersh said, ‘not one word of it is true’.

According to Hersh the problem is that the U.S. media is allowing the Obama administration to get away with lying. ‘It’s pathetic. They are more than obsequious, they are afraid to pick on this guy [Obama].’ Hersh said the American press spends ‘so much more time carrying water for Obama than I ever thought they would’.

In his opinion, the solution would be to shut down news networks like NBC and ABC and fire 90 per cent of mainstream editors and replace them with ‘real’ journalists who are not afraid to speak truth to power.

‘The republic’s in trouble, we lie about everything, lying has become the staple,’ he said.

Seymour HershSeymour Hersh

Here’s an excerpt from Seymour Hersh’s “Whose Sarin?” in the London Review of Books, Dec. 8, 2013:

Barack Obama did not tell the whole story this autumn when he tried to make the case that Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attack near Damascus on 21 August. In some instances, he omitted important intelligence, and in others he presented assumptions as facts. Most significant, he failed to acknowledge something known to the US intelligence community: that the Syrian army is not the only party in the country’s civil war with access to sarin, the nerve agent that a UN study concluded – without assessing responsibility – had been used in the rocket attack. In the months before the attack, the American intelligence agencies produced a series of highly classified reports, culminating in a formal Operations Order – a planning document that precedes a ground invasion – citing evidence that the al-Nusra Front, a jihadi group affiliated with al-Qaida, had mastered the mechanics of creating sarin and was capable of manufacturing it in quantity. When the attack occurred al-Nusra should have been a suspect, but the administration cherry-picked intelligence to justify a strike against Assad.

In his nationally televised speech about Syria on 10 September, Obama laid the blame for the nerve gas attack on the rebel-held suburb of Eastern Ghouta firmly on Assad’s government, and made it clear he was prepared to back up his earlier public warnings that any use of chemical weapons would cross a ‘red line’: ‘Assad’s government gassed to death over a thousand people,’ he said. ‘We know the Assad regime was responsible … And that is why, after careful deliberation, I determined that it is in the national security interests of the United States to respond to the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons through a targeted military strike.’ Obama was going to war to back up a public threat, but he was doing so without knowing for sure who did what in the early morning of 21 August.

[…] But in recent interviews with intelligence and military officers and consultants past and present, I found intense concern, and on occasion anger, over what was repeatedly seen as the deliberate manipulation of intelligence. One high-level intelligence officer, in an email to a colleague, called the administration’s assurances of Assad’s responsibility a ‘ruse’. The attack ‘was not the result of the current regime’, he wrote. 

In other words, EVERYTHING we on FOTM had written (see our page “Syria War“) at the time when President Lucifer and accomplices like John McCain were banging the war drums to attack Syria, is correct:

  • The Obama administration made up evidence to indict the Assad regime as the guilty party in the sarin attack (not that FOTM has any fondness for Assad).
  • Instead, there is evidence and every reason to suspect that the Syrian jihadist “rebels” are responsible for inflicting poison gas on themselves and the Syrian people.

~Eowyn

Dr. Eowyn is the Editor of Fellowship of the Minds.

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